When the Jussie Smollett alleged fake hate crime hoax hit the fan and the Chicago PD determined that they would pursue the actor with criminal charges, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the city’s top prosecutor, recused herself from the case.
Well, we now know that it appears that Foxx has a close connection to the Smollett family and tried to convince Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over to the FBI, and talked with a relative of Smollett who had concerns about the case.
In fact, an even more influential person, Tina Tchen, a Chicago attorney and former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama, called up Foxx to ask personally that she intervene on behalf of the Empire actor, the Chicago Sun-Times found after reviewing emails and messages through a public records request.
Tchen also gave Foxx’s number to a relative of Smollett who then also engaged in conversations about the case. The conversations are the reason Foxx stepped down and recused herself because of the conflict.
Smollett has been formally indicted by a grand jury in Chicago on 16 felony counts after allegedly lying to authorities about being the victim of a racist and homophobic hate attack in late January.
According to text messages uncovered by the outlet, Tchen contacted Foxx on Feb. 1, three days after Smollett made the claims that he was attacked.
“I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,” Tchen wrote in a text sent before 5 a.m., seeking to set up a call with Foxx before Tchen left on an 8 a.m. flight to New York, the outlet reports.
Foxx later received a text from a relative of Smollett, who had received her number from Tchen. The relative cited concerns over leaked information surrounding the investigation.
“They had no doubt about the quality of the investigation, but believed that the FBI would have a tighter lid on the information,” said Foxx. She said Johnson at first wasn’t adverse to the FBI taking over the case.
Other texts said:
“Spoke to the superintendent earlier. He is going to make the ask. Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted,” Foxx wrote to the relative of Smollett.
“OMG this would be a huge victory,” the relative texted in reply.
In an email message to Tchen sent the same day, Foxx wrote: “Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson. I convinced him to reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly.”
Foxx said this is something she has done in the past for non-celebs as well.
The FBI, however, had been involved with the case from the beginning said, Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
An internal investigation is underway because of leaked information that was sent to the media throughout the investigation.
Foxx stepped down Feb. 19, reportedly when she learned the case shifted from Smollett being a victim to a suspect.